Creationism, Evolution, and Orthodoxy

Do you believe that the acount of genesis in the Old testament should be taken literally?

  • Yes

    Votes: 73 16.8%
  • No

    Votes: 163 37.6%
  • both metaphorically and literally

    Votes: 198 45.6%

  • Total voters
    434

jckstraw72

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PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
as for the geocentrist page ... theres a clear difference between these quotes and the quotes i have provided, and Fr. Seraphim provides in his book. in the majority of these quotes they are simply pointing to the movements of our solar system as an illustration of another point. a recurring one was glorifying God's majesty in giving us an ordered creation -- thats the main point. they will say something like, "see, the sun moves in its course just the same, every day." thats an illustration of the point, but it would work just as well if they said the earth moves in its course the same every day. or they say how God caused the sun to stand still for Joshua, thus glorifying God for His miracle -- pointing out the power of God is the point -- the point would remain the same if they simply said that God made the day longer (however he woulda done that).
Nice dodge. :p  The reason Riddikulus posted the link to the geocentrism page was to show how you and the defender of geocentrism are both using quotes from the Fathers and citing a "universal patristic consensus" to prove a particular point of view that runs totally counter to what we now understand from scientific observation.
and i explained why i don't see the similarity. there's a clear difference between a concensus arising strictly from Scriptural interpretation that has doctrinal import and is spoken of dogmatically and has found its way into every area of Church life, and a concensus that arises from the surrounding culture that is used to illustrate other dogmatic points, has no doctrinal value, and has no import in other areas of church life such as icons, canons, and hymns.
 

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Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Great Vespers, at Aposticha, Stichera to the Resurrection: "and having slain death, He hath given us life, having raised up fallen Adam, the common ancestor of all, in that He loveth mankind."

Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Liturgy, Beatitudes: "Thou didst also raise up together with Adam all those who came from Adam as they cried out to Thee, Remember us also when Thou comest in Thy kindgom."
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....
No one understands it personally. Scripture is interpreted by the CHURCH. I am the Church, too. :)

jckstraw72 said:
However there are several modern Saints who do comment on evolution ...


Sorry, they aren't saints to me. Just AREN'T. Period. Serafim Rose is an ignoramus and weirdo. He fantasized a lot and his fantasies aren't interesting to me in the least.

so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.

jckstraw72 said:
and from a scientific POV there is an obvious difference here -- scientists can study our solar system in the here and now and see if the earth is moving around the sun, or the sun around the earth -- even if this is done indirectly and from a relative POV, it can still be done today. the descent from a common ancestor was observed by no one. what is observed is remains from the past, not the actual past happening. these remains must be interpreted, and only if the foundational assumptions of those interpretations are correct is the interpretation correct. i used the example of glasses before. I can first-hand observe that glasses correct my vision. there is no question of that. it is actually testable in the here and now, and can be demonstrated to anyone. evolution is obviously not in the same league.


But do you see the structure of the atom, or of elementaruy particles? Those things aren't directly observable either.



i don't know how those things are studied, but their impact can be studied in the here and now since those things are still with us. in the case of evolution you can only study remains from the past, the actual process of the past several billion years cannot be observed. huge difference.
But the ongoing evolution CAN be observed, and IS observed.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Great Vespers, at Aposticha, Stichera to the Resurrection: "and having slain death, He hath given us life, having raised up fallen Adam, the common ancestor of all, in that He loveth mankind."

Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Liturgy, Beatitudes: "Thou didst also raise up together with Adam all those who came from Adam as they cried out to Thee, Remember us also when Thou comest in Thy kindgom."
These hymns aren't self interpreting, so you can't draw from these hymns any surefire statement that Adam was a historical man.  Only be reading into these hymns your belief that Adam was a specific individual can you derive this from the hymns, which is essentially the epitome of circular reasoning.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Great Vespers, at Aposticha, Stichera to the Resurrection: "and having slain death, He hath given us life, having raised up fallen Adam, the common ancestor of all, in that He loveth mankind."

Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Liturgy, Beatitudes: "Thou didst also raise up together with Adam all those who came from Adam as they cried out to Thee, Remember us also when Thou comest in Thy kindgom."
These hymns aren't self interpreting, so you can't draw from these hymns any surefire statement that Adam was a historical man.  Only be reading into these hymns your belief that Adam was a specific individual can you derive this from the hymns, which is essentially the epitome of circular reasoning.
Adam is clearly not being used as a symbol for all humanity in these hymns, because He is called  the common ancestor of all! How is that in any way a symbol?! And in the second he is mentioned along with all those that came from him. If he is merely used a symbol then what that hymn is saying is Jesus raised up all men and all men that came from that all men. Its a pretty big stretch to say that Adam isnt spoken of as a literal first man in those hymns. only by reading into these hymns your view that Adam is an allegory which is unsupported by anything in the Church can you derive that from the hymns.
 

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Heorhij said:
No one understands it personally. Scripture is interpreted by the CHURCH. I am the Church, too. :)
and yet you choose to ignore what the Church has taught in all its avenues of teaching for 2000 years ...

Sorry, they aren't saints to me. Just AREN'T. Period. Serafim Rose is an ignoramus and weirdo. He fantasized a lot and his fantasies aren't interesting to me in the least.
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.
yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.

jckstraw72 said:
and from a scientific POV there is an obvious difference here -- scientists can study our solar system in the here and now and see if the earth is moving around the sun, or the sun around the earth -- even if this is done indirectly and from a relative POV, it can still be done today. the descent from a common ancestor was observed by no one. what is observed is remains from the past, not the actual past happening. these remains must be interpreted, and only if the foundational assumptions of those interpretations are correct is the interpretation correct. i used the example of glasses before. I can first-hand observe that glasses correct my vision. there is no question of that. it is actually testable in the here and now, and can be demonstrated to anyone. evolution is obviously not in the same league.

But do you see the structure of the atom, or of elementaruy particles? Those things aren't directly observable either.


i don't know how those things are studied, but their impact can be studied in the here and now since those things are still with us. in the case of evolution you can only study remains from the past, the actual process of the past several billion years cannot be observed. huge difference.
But the ongoing evolution CAN be observed, and IS observed.
yes, of course minor changes are seen today. but taking those minor changes and assuming that you can extrapolate into major changes for the previous several billion years is not scientific at all. its a huge assumption, and why should i accept the assumptions that
1. it occurred the same way in the past, despite the fact that Tradition tells us of a fall from Paradise and a global flood in which the earth was returned to its early chaotic state, and
2. that minor changes (fruit fly becomes a different fruit fly) necessarily lead to major changes (common ancestor of apes and humans gives rise to apes and humans)? there is literally no evidence of macroevolution if i dont accept those assumptions.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Great Vespers, at Aposticha, Stichera to the Resurrection: "and having slain death, He hath given us life, having raised up fallen Adam, the common ancestor of all, in that He loveth mankind."

Sunday Octoechos, Tone 1, Liturgy, Beatitudes: "Thou didst also raise up together with Adam all those who came from Adam as they cried out to Thee, Remember us also when Thou comest in Thy kindgom."
These hymns aren't self interpreting, so you can't draw from these hymns any surefire statement that Adam was a historical man.  Only be reading into these hymns your belief that Adam was a specific individual can you derive this from the hymns, which is essentially the epitome of circular reasoning.
Adam is clearly not being used as a symbol for all humanity in these hymns, because He is called  the common ancestor of all! How is that in any way a symbol?! And in the second he is mentioned along with all those that came from him. If he is merely used a symbol then what that hymn is saying is Jesus raised up all men and all men that came from that all men. Its a pretty big stretch to say that Adam isnt spoken of as a literal first man in those hymns. only by reading into these hymns your view that Adam is an allegory which is unsupported by anything in the Church can you derive that from the hymns.
I didn't put forth my opinion on what these hymns mean, all I did was question your interpretation of them.  Do you not see that you are now putting words into my mouth?
 

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jckstraw72 said:
yes, of course minor changes are seen today. but taking those minor changes and assuming that you can extrapolate into major changes for the previous several billion years is not scientific at all.
So, are you also a scientist and therefore in position to tell a trained professor of biological science what science is?  Hell, even I can tell you how much of an oversimplification this statement you just put forth is! :eek:
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
yes, of course minor changes are seen today. but taking those minor changes and assuming that you can extrapolate into major changes for the previous several billion years is not scientific at all.
So, are you also a scientist and therefore in position to tell a trained professor of biological science what science is?  Hell, even I can tell you how much of an oversimplification this statement you just put forth is! :eek:
Story of my life, PtA.  ;D
 

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jckstraw72 said:
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.
yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. ;)
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
No one understands it personally. Scripture is interpreted by the CHURCH. I am the Church, too. :)
and yet you choose to ignore what the Church has taught in all its avenues of teaching for 2000 years ...

so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
If any creationist wishes to challenge the present scientific data on Evolution, they need to support their claims by the scientific method. If modern science is incorrect, the creationist needs to prove it. They need to gather together a collection of data through observation and experimentation; they need to formulate and test the hypotheses.

The Scientific Method:

Scientific method refers to bodies of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[1] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[2]

Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce biased interpretations of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established. (cont'd at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method)


yes, of course minor changes are seen today. but taking those minor changes and assuming that you can extrapolate into major changes for the previous several billion years is not scientific at all. its a huge assumption, and why should i accept the assumptions that
1. it occurred the same way in the past, despite the fact that Tradition tells us of a fall from Paradise and a global flood in which the earth was returned to its early chaotic state, and
2. that minor changes (fruit fly becomes a different fruit fly) necessarily lead to major changes (common ancestor of apes and humans gives rise to apes and humans)? there is literally no evidence of macroevolution if i dont accept those assumptions.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/ - 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution - The Scientific Case for Common Descent

jckstraw72,

It appears you have your work cut out for you. You need to get a degree in biology and do whatever is necessary to prove modern science wrong. First and foremost, you need to understand what you are talking about.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....
Because the science of Biology is not the subject of the Scriptures, nor is it a subject that the ECF knew about.  How could they have any relevant comment upon something of which they knew nothing? 



Heorhij said:
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
One might suggest that they are counted as saints due to their theology or devotion or humility or other things.  But none of them were apparently learned in biology.


But do you see the structure of the atom, or of elementaruy particles? Those things aren't directly observable either.
i don't know how those things are studied, but their impact can be studied in the here and now since those things are still with us. in the case of evolution you can only study remains from the past, the actual process of the past several billion years cannot be observed. huge difference.
Studying "remains from the past" has been a source of knowledge in many fields including Archeology, Anthropology, Geology (consider the one derided but now accepted ideas of Plate Tectonics, Continental Drift, the "Missoula Floods" that swept over parts of what is now Washington and Oregon and that the Mediterranean Sea was once a closed off desert thousands of feet deep in places with a bottom of layers of salt and minerals and remains of creatures (small but creatures).

Ebor


 

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PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.
yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. ;)
i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
 

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Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....
Because the science of Biology is not the subject of the Scriptures, nor is it a subject that the ECF knew about.  How could they have any relevant comment upon something of which they knew nothing? 
the question at hand is how to interpret Genesis. i have very little interest in diving into science.



Heorhij said:
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
One might suggest that they are counted as saints due to their theology or devotion or humility or other things.  But none of them were apparently learned in biology.
they were illumined by God, thus I will give credence to their teachings on Scripture over those of scientists.


 

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perhaps its just me, but i really dont think this thread can go much further. i could post more of the same from icons, and hymns and Saints, but you've made it clear that you're not concerned with the Church's teachings on its own Scripture, so we have no common ground to work from here. we can continue if ya'll want, but I'm not sure what else there is to say.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
I do not know their views on mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, speciation, etc. But if they wrote somewhere that the currently existing theory of biological evolution must be wrong because of these and these and these Scriptural reasons - then I would have to be very sorry to conclude that they all were as much weirdoes and wacos as Fr. Seraphim was.
yes, the Saints are weirdos bc they don't agree with you. that sounds so Orthodox.
No less Orthodox than your assertion that the Saints are infallible. ;)
i made no such assertion. i have referenced ancient and modern Saints, church hymns, icons, canons, Scripture, and the Church calendar. ya'll have provided 3 Patristic quotes and some modern scientists.
The truth of one's convictions are not measured by number of "supporters".
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....
Because the science of Biology is not the subject of the Scriptures, nor is it a subject that the ECF knew about.  How could they have any relevant comment upon something of which they knew nothing? 
the question at hand is how to interpret Genesis. i have very little interest in diving into science.
And yet you seem to want to spend a lot of time telling us ignoramuses what science is and making scientific proclamations from saintly theologians who knew nothing of biology.


jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
One might suggest that they are counted as saints due to their theology or devotion or humility or other things.  But none of them were apparently learned in biology.
they were illumined by God, thus I will give credence to their teachings on Scripture over those of scientists.
And the Holy Fathers were illumined by God regarding the science of biology?  And scientists are not illumined by God?
 

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jckstraw72 said:
perhaps its just me, but i really dont think this thread can go much further. i could post more of the same from icons, and hymns and Saints, but you've made it clear that you're not concerned with the Church's teachings on its own Scripture, so we have no common ground to work from here. we can continue if ya'll want, but I'm not sure what else there is to say.
Oh, we're concerned with the Church's teachings on its own Scripture, all right.  We just don't find the case you've made here convincing.  For one, you're presenting as evidence the works of experts in theology who knew virtually nothing about biology.  And for two, I don't believe the Holy Fathers to be the infallible dogmatic authority of the Church in separation from the catholic consciousness of all the faithful.
 

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jckstraw72 said:
Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....
Because the science of Biology is not the subject of the Scriptures, nor is it a subject that the ECF knew about.  How could they have any relevant comment upon something of which they knew nothing? 
the question at hand is how to interpret Genesis. i have very little interest in diving into science.
As a theological work that tells that God created the Universe, but doesn't tell us the nuts-and-bolts process?

If you have very little interest in science, that is your right, but then you do not have knowledge of what scientists really do and what they really say. So how could you say that they are wrong or how do you know that they are "interpreting Genesis"?




Heorhij said:
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
One might suggest that they are counted as saints due to their theology or devotion or humility or other things.  But none of them were apparently learned in biology.
they were illumined by God, thus I will give credence to their teachings on Scripture over those of scientists.
I haven't come across any paleontologists or geologists teaching on Scripture.  The ones I've read have been on the fossils, the data and the methods used.  Have you found some who say that they are "teaching in Scripture" or is that your idea that they are and you are conflating religion and science?

 

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PeterTheAleut said:
jckstraw72 said:
Ebor said:
jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
jckstraw72 said:
haha i never said the Fathers commented on evolution! that doesnt mean their work is totally irrelevant though.
I think it IS totally irrelevant, because they could not possibly have the first clue about what the biological evolution is.
who cares? they understand Scripture. go back and read the OP ....
Because the science of Biology is not the subject of the Scriptures, nor is it a subject that the ECF knew about.  How could they have any relevant comment upon something of which they knew nothing? 
the question at hand is how to interpret Genesis. i have very little interest in diving into science.
And yet you seem to want to spend a lot of time telling us ignoramuses what science is and making scientific proclamations from saintly theologians who knew nothing of biology.
im putting forth what the Fathers say about Scripture. nothing more. this is abundantly obvious -- please deal with my actual position rather than your straw man.


jckstraw72 said:
Heorhij said:
so St. Barsanuphius of Optina, St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, St. John of Kronstadt, St. Seraphim of Sarov, and others like Elder Paisios, Elder Joseph the Hesychast, and Elder Cleopa arent Saints in your eyes. You know darn well I've already mentioned and quoted them several times. You're just choosing to ignore that.
One might suggest that they are counted as saints due to their theology or devotion or humility or other things.  But none of them were apparently learned in biology.
they were illumined by God, thus I will give credence to their teachings on Scripture over those of scientists.
And the Holy Fathers were illumined by God regarding the science of biology?  And scientists are not illumined by God?
the Holy Fathers were illumined concerning the interpretation of Scripture. this is the only thread on which I have ever seen that denied. Sorry, I don't consider non-Orthodox and atheist scientists who deny the Church's understanding of Genesis to be illumined.
 
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